Friday, September 23, 2011

Before, And After

Men in hard hats with saws
stood looking at my maple.
They had not come
to tell her how beautiful she was.

I have watched her
over a thousand morning cups of coffee
or while outside with my dog
as she grew where her nature naturally took her.

Now, there is a big piece of her missing
from her center, where the power lines run.
Their closeness was dangerous, I know,
especially in seasons of storm or snow.

I would have hated to see her
Blackened and burned, ruined and bent,
or my neighbors' cozy kitchens and dens
gone suddenly dark,

But it hurts my heart to see her this way,
split and altered for safety's sake.
My morning coffee tastes unfamiliarly bitter
as I think of how beautiful she was.

_________

21 comments:

Lynn said...

That is a beautiful poem to your maple tree. I also hate to see them hacked up strangely like that.

Lydia said...

Oh, Shay. What a touching poem. I am so sorry for the alteration to your maple tree. I guess you must now be happy she is still there. When a whopper of a summer storm split our Silk Tree (mimosa), causing the larger trunk to crash to the ground, I worried the whole tree was ruined. But the arborist was able to save the other half, which is still in bloom and looks very tall and Zen compared to spreading and draping as it was.
Long may they live, with their new shapes, to grace our lives.

Sioux said...

You were an early bird this morning, Shay, and you got your "worm."

"...where her nature naturally took her...blackened and burned, ruined and bent" (and more). As always, your poem is jam-packed with rich phrases.

I wonder what those lovely trees think when they're hacked up or mowed down. They've seen history unroll under their branches...

Brian Miller said...

this is def sad...which is the lesser evil....to let and innocent fry or cut out a bit of beauty for the safety of those around them...

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

A fitting tribute to a friend. I wish everybody appreciated trees as deeply.

Tabitha Bird said...

Men and their hard hats hey. Nuff said.

nene said...

As always you see human sensitivities and transition them well into words. Love your mind and your heart!

Siux: also nice words, 'They've seen history unroll under their branches..'

Daryl said...

So sad .. just adds to my mood ...

Mama Zen said...

This hurts me to read. Old trees are so beautiful.

bajanpoet said...

This poem was beautiful

Suz said...

especially at this time of year
when the Japanese maple dazzles
in autumn sunlight
..she may just take on a striking pose
of survival....

hedgewitch said...

The trees who have gone through the most loss of limb and stress, often end up with the most character--become more beautiful than those that have the best soil and the perfect fertilization. I'd rather look at a twisted thousand year old bristlecone pine than a pouffy perfect goblet-shaped bradford pear clone any day.
(That said, the power line pruner guys often just hack things up and leave a mess.)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This makes me think of the water district guys who hacked up a bush I had been gently nurturing for years. They had nary a thought for it. It is wonderful how much we can love a tree, a bush, anything living. Thank goddess those hard hats didnt cut it down, that would have been horrible. I so love your poem. Poor maple, but she is surviving, bent and with severed limbs - but intact in spirit, like us:)(I know trees feel pain when their limbs are sawed away. Silent screams.Horrible.)

woodennickel said...

I love this poem and the subject. At the corner of my home is a beautiful Rocky Mountain Maple, just gorgeous. No power lines to harm her. I hope you find a sweeter brew for your morning meditation. I will watch your words.
Regards,
DH

Marion said...

A great poem to your tree friend. Thanksfull, it's still alive...

I still mourn the death of one of my old Oaks's in the front yard. We had to have it cut down and I still feel it's presence. xo

Cloudia said...

the first stanza is complete,
but the rest is worthy
and turned my coffee bitter,
then sweet with appreciation
of YOUr appreciation

ciao & Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral


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Joanna Jenkins said...

Beautifully said. I've had this same sad feeling before seeing trees cut away for safety reasons ;-(

xo jj

Caty said...

:( we what we have to but it doesn't make it any happier...

Lolamouse said...

I hate it when trees lose to humans too.

haikulovesongs said...

i'm grateful she is at least still standing. *hugs*
d ♥

ellen abbott said...

Oh I know this. I don't blame the ones that volunteer. How are they to know? But why do people plant trees under power lines just to doom it to the chain saw cutting out it's center.